My parents always wanted me to become a chartered accountant. My young brain pictured an office job of looking at charts and counting numbers all day, but it was a career choice I’m glad I pursued.
I landed my first job doing accounts payable in the hospitality and tourism sector. Then I did a few years in manufacturing before taking controller and supervision positions in civil construction. My current role is with the construction company Black & McDonald, which has operations across Canada, the US and overseas.
The accounts payable position came up as I was looking for a summer job between my university years. At that time, I didn’t have my accounting degree. However, there were some accounting staff who were doing night classes while working full-time, so I decided to follow suit.
Getting the books to balance and the figures to tie in first time around is like making a perfect golf swing
I worked my way through the ranks. I then got my degree and qualification, which opened many doors. These have all been amazing learning experiences and have taken me into the ‘zone’, ensuring I enjoy my working days.
I have stepped out of my comfort zone many times. An especially challenging time came in only my second week at a new job, just as Covid-19 hit, forcing everyone to work from home.
I was responsible for uploading the files for payroll and accounts payable to the bank. However, there was no process in place to ensure the files uploaded correctly, and soon my phone lit up with people asking why they hadn’t received their payment. After contacting the bank, I rectified the text file and then implemented a new banking control checklist process, which saved the day.
One current tough challenge is tricky tax issues for some transportation sector customers with nationwide operations. It has also been challenging to have all our departments apply the correct tax rates on our invoices depending on the type of service. We are a big machine with lots of moving parts, so clear and correct communication is key.
The aspect of my job I most enjoy is teaching accounting concepts in an understandable manner to non-accounting colleagues. I find getting the books to balance and the figures to tie in the first time around is like making a perfect golf swing followed by a hole in one.
I was working 10 hours, then studying for my final exams five hours, every day for eight months
If I had the power, I would implement laws to reduce food wastage, especially in the grocery industry. Perfectly edible food is tossed out by stores because it does not fit the ‘picture perfect’ photo image. This is a ‘profit over people’ corporate mentality. I would also have laws to clearly mark the difference between best before and expiry dates on perishable food.
My biggest achievement was preparing for my professional final exams. I was worn out as I was working 10 hours, then studying for five hours, every day for eight months. Getting the results for those exams was an excruciating eight-week wait; however, I received an honours mark, which is given to the top 10% of candidates.
If I wasn’t an accountant, I would have been a graphic designer. Or an architect, a computer 3D animator or interior designer.
I’m a natural introvert. I enjoy quiet hobbies like photography, interior design, architecture, listening to music, and exercise.